7 Businesses Making an Impression with GIFs on Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories GIFs may be the hottest new marketing trend, but did you know that you can create your own Instagram Stories GIFs for your business?

It’s no wonder businesses have been so quick to jump on the GIF bandwagon — they’re the perfect way to add a bit of personality to your stories, not to mention they can increase brand awareness and help drive more engagement on your account!

Looking for some Instagram Stories GIF inspiration for your own account? In the following post, we look at how 7 creative businesses are using GIFs on Instagram Stories, and how you can follow suit:

#1: Create Your Own Branded GIFs on Instagram Stories like @ritual

Creating your own GIFs on Instagram Stories is a great way to increase brand awareness and add a fun, branded element to your stories — and it’s also super easy to do!

Take @ritual for example. The modern vitamin company recently created their own set of branded GIFs on Instagram Stories to give their customers a new way to share user-generated content (UGC):

In total, Ritual has created nearly a dozen different GIFs on Instagram Stories, including GIFs of their products, slogans, and logo. All you have to do is search “ritual” when adding a GIF to your story, and you can quickly find them there!

We used the same strategy for Later, and created a ton of fun Instagram Stories CTAs like “Swipe Up” “Giveaway” and “Link in Bio” that anyone could use to promote their stories by searching “Later”! We’ve seen a huge success, with over 69 million impressions so far!

Want to create your own Instagram Stories GIFs? Learn how to create them with GIPHY here

#2: Use GIFs on Instagram Stories to Upgrade Your Product Shots like @supergoop 

One of the great things about Instagram Stories GIFs is that they can turn ordinary product photos into eye-catching, thumb-stopping treasures!

Just look at @supergoop. The sunscreen company often adds playful GIFs to their product photos to draw people in and keep them from swiping on to the next story in their queue:

instagram stories gifs

It’s really a great strategy. With so many businesses creating content for Instagram Stories today, it’s getting more and more difficult to grab people’s attention — especially when it comes to product photos.

Take a page out of Supergoop’s playbook and use eye-catching GIFs to draw your viewers in and keep them there longer.

#3: Use GIFs to Convince Viewers to Keep Tapping like @buffy

As we just mentioned above, getting viewers to engage with your whole story is way more challenging than it used to be — but there are a few strategies you can use to snag people’s attention.

For example, modern comforter brand @buffy often uses GIFs to persuade viewers to keep tapping through the rest of their story: 

gifs on instagram

How Buffy does it, is they’ll share a story with a compelling tidbit of information (like in the example above), and then invite viewers to tap through to the next story with a fun GIF.

For example, if you’re creating a series of stories to show the environmental benefits of one your products, you can use each story to share an interesting factoid, and then encourage viewers to keep tapping with a GIF.

Want to learn more about using Instagram Stories for business? Check out our free video course today!

#4: Use GIFs to Draw Attention to Your Links like @outdoorvoices

When Instagram first introduced the ability to add links to Instagram Stories in 2017, it was a total game changer. Rather than having to rely solely on the link in their bio, businesses could start driving traffic back to their website or blog using Instagram Stories!

Unfortunately, many of these businesses soon learned that getting people to swipe up on their stories is easier said than done — especially since the “See More” call-to-action on linked stories is so small.  

To overcome this, some businesses like athleisure brand @outdoorvoices have started using GIFs to draw attention to the “See More” CTA in their Instagram Stories:

instagram gifs

Calling out the link in your Instagram story with a GIF is really the perfect solution — GIFs are lighthearted and fun and they can entice viewers to swipe up without coming across as too pushy.

Take a cue from Outdoor Voices and look for playful ways to highlight your “See More” call-to-action. You’re bound to get more click-throughs!

#5: Use GIFs to Promote Your Instagram Campaigns like @girlboss

In the past few years, Instagram Stories has emerged as one of the best channels for businesses to generate a ton of interest around their marketing campaigns.

But with so many businesses using Instagram Stories to promote their campaigns, it can be difficult to cut through the noise and really grab people’s attention.

That’s why some businesses like @girlboss have started using GIFs to stand out. Whether it’s a flashing “WIN” or rotating “SPECIAL OFFER,” using GIFs to promote a contest or giveaway (like in the example below) is a great way to draw people in:

gifs on instagram stories

Just remember: when using GIFs on Instagram Stories, it’s best to follow a “less is more” approach. Since GIFs are moving stickers, adding too many can be distracting or confusing and will probably result in viewers exiting your story.

#6: Turn Your GIFs into Call-to-Actions like @hellotushy

One of the best things about GIFs on Instagram Stories is that there are just so many of them! From flying cats to dancing alien animations, GIPHY’s library is truly endless, giving businesses countless options to choose from.

And while it’s great to use GIFs to entertain your followers, some businesses like @hellotushy have found a more goal-oriented use for GIFs: to replace the call-to-actions in their Instagram Stories.

gifs on instagram stories

Like we mentioned above, using GIFs on Instagram Stories is a great marketing technique for businesses that want to drive results without coming across as too pushy. 

Next time you’re creating a story with a call-to-action in it, take a page out of Hello Tushy’s playbook and find a relevant GIF and use it to drive the message home. 

#7: Use GIFs to Add a Fun Design Element to Your Stories like @nakedcph

Adding an animated element to your photo is a great way to make your images come to life. And while your GIF shouldn’t take away from your image, adding movement to your story is a great way to catch people’s interest and keep them engaged.

A great example comes from women’s sneaker store @nakedcph which often uses GIFs to add a fun design element to their Instagram Stories:

gifs on instagram stories

As with anything you post on social media, it’s important to look for GIFs that enhance your story content rather than taking away from it. Naked uses GIFs sparingly in their stories and only when it makes sense and is a good fit for the content they’re sharing. 

While adding different GIFs to your Instagram Stories can be a lot of fun, you’ll want to make sure you use them sparingly!

Hopefully this gives you all the inspiration you need to start using GIFs on your own Instagram Stories! At the end of the day, there’s no wrong way to use GIFs. But if you want to get better results from your Instagram Stories, try following the creative examples we outlined in this post!

Ready to start taking your stories seriously? Watch our free Instagram Stories for Business course today!

Written By

Benjamin Chacon

Benjamin is a Content Writer at Later and recent transplant from Toronto. You can follow his day-to-day exploits on Instagram @benjaminchacs.